BERLIN – German Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund succumbed 2-1 against Augsburg on Friday, suffering only its second league defeat this season against a team that struggled to avoid relegation and just broke a streak of three straight defeats, thanks to a brace by Augsburg’s forward Ji Dong-Won.
South Korean Ji Dong-won, who is now in his fifth season with Augsburg, opened the scoring at the Augsburg Arena stadium in the 24th minute by taking advantage of a slip while blocking his first shot by Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji, allowing the South Korean striker to have another go and find the net.
The second goal for Augsburg came also from a weak Dortmund defense when Achraf Hakimi made a sloppy pass that was intercepted by Ji in the 67th minute, effectively sealing the win for the home side.
Spaniard Paco Alcacer, who was not a starter for Dortmund but replaced an uninspiring Thomas Delaney in the 66th minute, was the author of the 2-1 nine minutes from the end, when he finished off a great Mario Götze pass and gave new life to his team.
Dortmund kept pushing, looking for a draw until the end and Götze himself had a clear chance in the 87th minute, but Augsburg’s goalie Gregor Kobel, who had an outstanding day, denied him the goal.
Kobel made over 10 saves during the match and showed some exceptional skills in the dying minutes of the game when Jacob Bruun Larsen, Alcacer and Götze all piled up in front of his goal seeking an equalizer.
Dortmund are still three points clear of Bayern Munich, who have the option of drawing on points if they win at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, but even then will likely stay on top due to a better goal difference.
Nevertheless, Lucien Favre’s team can’t afford any more slip ups if they want to achieve their first Bundesliga title in seven years, as they surely have Bayern breathing down their neck now.